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Action Summary: HRPDC Quarterly Meeting, January 17, 2013

Action Summary: HRPDC Quarterly Meeting, January 17, 2013

The Commission took the following actions at its Quarterly Meeting on January 17, 2013:

Resolutions of Appreciation were presented to outgoing Commissioner Harry Diezel and retiring staff members John Carlock and Frances Hughey for their contributions to the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.

New business item #14 was added to the agenda:  City of Hampton Request for Support for Joint Base Langley-Eustis Clear Zone.

Workshop Items:

Coastal Zone Program

Mr. Benjamin McFarlane, HRPDC Regional Planner provided an overview of the HRPDC FY 2013 Coastal Zone Management Program as detailed in Hampton Roads Technical Assistance Program Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Final Report.  This program has six components:

  • Regional coordination
  • Environmental impact review
  • Public information and education
  • Local government staff training
  • Technical studies
  • Technical assistance to localities

The report documents HRPDC CZM Technical Assistance Program activities for the period from October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012 and was approved as part of the consent agenda.

Chesapeake Bay Program

The HRPDC recommended numerous research and model revisions in its report,

Chesapeake Bay Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan, Hampton Roads Regional Planning

Framework, Scenarios, and Strategies.  Ms. Jenny Tribo, Senior Water Resources Planner, provided an overview of the actions the Chesapeake Bay Program is taking to address the HRPDC’s concerns with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL process.  These include strategies such as:

  • Establishing a Land Use Workgroup to develop local data protocols
  • Creating expert panels to establish pollutant removal efficiencies for innovative best management practices
  • Considering how climate change and sea level rise predictions might fit into the TMDL process

Several programmatic and policy issues raised by the HRPDC remain unaddressed to date.

2013 Economic Forecast

Mr. Greg G. Grootendorst, Chief Economist, presented the 2013 Economic

Forecast.  Of note, the housing market is beginning to recover even though short sales continue to increase.  Energy prices are expected to remain low, as are inflation and interest rates.  The region’s corporate balance sheets are strong.  Higher payroll taxes will likely impact the retail sales as consumers have less disposable income.  Unemployment is expected to remain fairly high in the year ahead.  Other factors creating uncertainty include the national debt ceiling, sequestration and potential port strikes.  Overall, the region can expect modest, positive economic growth.

Public Comments: 

There were no submitted public comments or members of the public wishing to speak at the meeting.

Minutes:  The minutes of the November 15, 2012 HRPDC Executive Committee Meeting were approved as part of the consent agenda.

Treasurer’s Report: Approved as part of the consent agenda.

Regional Reviews:  Approved as part of the consent agenda.

Other items approved under the Consent Agenda:

  • PNRS Reviews
  • Environmental Impact Assessment/Statement Review
  • 2013 Economic Forecast
  • Coastal Zone Program—Hampton Roads Technical Assistance Program Final Report
  • Hampton Roads Watershed Roundtable Grant Authorization
  • Bacteria Study
  • Hampton Roads Transit Bus Shelter Agreement
  • 2040 Socioeconomic Forecast
  • Regional Solid Waste Plan for Southeastern Virginia—Amendment No. 3
  • Regional Benchmarking Study

Chairman Shepperd raised concerns about the region no longer being eligible for Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funding.  Executive Director, Dwight Farmer explained that recent intelligence indicates that Hampton Roads is no longer considered a top target.  Mr. Franklin, Surry County, asked what projects may be impacted by this change in funding status.  Emergency Management Administrator, Curtis Brown indicated that all projects can be completed with existing funds, but upgrades and any future maintenance to efforts such as the regional emergency communications network remain unfunded.  Staff is developing a prioritized list of these types of projects along with cost estimates for future consideration and development of a sustainability plan.

New Business:

The City of Hampton requested support for funding to solve encroachment issues by creating a Joint Base Langley-Eustis Clear Zone.   This item was included in the HRPDC legislative agenda and localities were asked to support it as they meet with state and federal legislators.